Monday, February 27, 2017

Los Alamos - Week 3

Con Sueño

Well we had a baptism this week. He is an 11 year old kid named Sebastian, and he was one of the investigators that the other missionaries that were here left for us. He was really excited to get baptized, and to get the priesthood in a few months so that he can pass out the sacrament.

This week we also did a service project for this lady that lives up on the hill in her little house of wood. And I guess what happened is a motorcycle taxi was driving on the road above her house and fell and knocked part of the house over, so we rebuilt it and the roof and everything. It was fun working with the Elders Quorum there.

For me, the Book of Mormon is everything. For me, if I have an investigator that reads at least one chapter of the Book of Mormon between the first visit and the second visit, they are going to get baptized for sure. The Book of Mormon makes an investigator a convert. I know that if an investigator becomes an investigator of the Book of Mormon (just like we as missionaries are missionaries of the Book of Mormon) they are going to be faithful and active members of the church for the rest of their lives. Right in the moment when they stop reading the Book of Mormon is when they are going to go inactive. But it's more than just read it, they have to read it with an intent to learn. For me the Book of Mormon is the key to conversion because the only thing that stops conversion is DOUBT. And the Book of Mormon can resolve ALL of the DOUBTS that the people might have if they diligently search for their ANSWERS to their doubts. I know that because I've had the Book of Mormon respond to a lot of doubts that I have had in the past.

I'm really grateful that Preach My Gospel chapter 6 talks about the attributes of Christ. It's so cool to see how in the mission and in life things start to go bad when we lack one or some of these attributes. For me this week, my weakness has been patience. Having a companion that is a new missionary can be really hard sometimes. And to be honest a lot of times I don't know what to do, what to say, or how to help him. But with patience and faith everything turns out alright. I have learned so much from my companion and I know that our companionship was organized by revelation that our mission president received.

Thanks for everything guys, sorry no pictures this week!  But don't be sad! I'll have pictures next week!

Elder Harris

Monday, February 20, 2017

Los Alamos - Week 2

Los Frutos de La Fe y La Actitud

Esta semana ha sido excelente. 

So to tell you a little bit about my area, it's called Ventanilla Alta. (High Ventanilla) and it's like a canyon where all the people with money to buy houses of bricks live in the bottom of the canyon, and the poor people live on the sides of the hills in wood houses. So going up the hills is more like Pachacutec, but in the bottom (which is where the majority of the people live) it's pretty normal. There are paved roads and parks with grass. The best adjustment for me is that now every time that I leave my apartment I don't have to walk up a hill. It's just flat for the most part. We have the chapel in our area, and we are the only ward to attend there, and we are the only missionaries in the ward, so it works out great.

My mission president is putting a big emphasis on finding the elect in every moment. It's like a little add on that looks like this.

Find the elect in EVERY MOMENT. Teach repentence EVERY DAY. Baptize converts EVERY WEEK.

We have had a lot of experiences this week by following this instruction. That in every moment, it doesn't matter where we are, we are finding. Finding new investigators. Because the more new investigators we find, the more converts we are going to baptize. 

One experience, my companion has all the credit, because we were walking down the street and we saw this really old guy entering into his house. The thought that I had in my mind was, wow he is old, probably can't hear very well, and I don't have the patience to contact him. But my companion Elder Viera went to contact him and I followed. And it turned out that he is a golden investigator. By the second visit he had read the first 5 chapters of the Book of Mormon, and when we explained to him that he needs to pray to God to see if the book is true, he said but why do I need to do that if I already know it's true? Haha it was the best. He can barely walk but he made the effort to come to church in a mototaxi. Really excited for his baptism on the 18th of March.

Another was when we were walking to our apartment at night, and we passed by the house of a guy who was really sick. We gave him a blessing. The next day we returned and he told us that during the whole night he slept in peace, and that the pain had subsided a lot. He and his son accepted a baptismal date as well, and they are friends with the elders quorum president so they already have friends in the chapel.

Elder Viera comes from a family that is strong in the church, but he comes from a branch in Progreso, Canelonas, Uruguay. He has been a little homesick and just adjusting to living in a different country, but he is doing excellent now. I'm very proud to be his father. I'm also learning a lot from him.

Thanks everyone, have a great week,

Elder Harris

My son Elder Viera had his first baptism, a 9 year old named Agustin whose mom is a recent convert. He is our little amigo. In the picture featuring Elder Vasques from Peru and Elder Lepe from Chile.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Las Alamos - Week 1

Que es un alamo? Ya soy padre fech...

Well hello everyone, it's been a crazy week.  We had two new zones created in our mission and it mixed a lot of things up.  Now there are 12 zones, and one of the new zones is Pachacutec.  The other is called Miramar.  

And so my transfer is that I'm training a new missionary in Los Alamos in the Ventanilla Stake.   And that means I'm also whitewashing this area.   I don't know anyone haha so it's been fun. But yeah, I'm in the same zone which is kind of rare, I think, but my old area is no longer in my zone.  

My companions name is Elder Viera, he comes from Uruguay.  He has an accent haha and sometimes he is hard to understand, but all is good.  They asked us to speak in church this last Sunday to introduce ourselves to the ward, it was great.  The ward is really strong and we will have a lot of support from the members.  The area here is really cool, it's basically pushed up in this little cove surrounded by hills.  Los Alamos is the old area of the Ventanilla zone leaders.  From lots of points in my area I can see Pachacutec and parts of my old area up on the hill.

One thing that I've been thinking about a lot this week, and something that I've felt personally, and something that I've tried to help my companion understand is the concept of trust in the Lord. The problem with a lot of missionaries is they only have confidence in themselves.  Sometimes we only think about our own capabilities and whether or not our capabilities are good enough. Some missionaries are satisfied with their own abilities and start to get prideful when they confide in their own capabilities. Other missionaries look at their own abilities and feel weak.  Their self confidence goes down because they think that their abilities aren't good enough.  But I think the problem with these two types of missionaries really is the same.  They are trusting more in themselves than in the Lord.  Because when we forget ourselves and just trust in the Lord, it doesn't matter what our abilities are.  We just have to trust that the Spirit will direct us to do what we need to do.  Nothing else.

One time we were contacting in the street and a lot of people were rejecting us and I felt a little disanimated.  But I saw a guy walking up the street in front of us quickly, and I knew that he was coming home from work and if I contacted him we would be able to teach him.  So I started walking fast, almost to the point of running to catch up with him and do salvation in 60 seconds.  And he let us in! I feel like the Lord likes to test us like that.  He waits until we are at the point where we want to give up, and if we put forth an extra effort in finding, we will find the elect.

I feel humbled to be able to train, I'm learning a lot from my companion.

Haste la proxima,

Elder Harris

My Comp Elder Viera!

My District!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Pachacutec - Week 24

Mi plato favorito es la escaveche

Well it's been a solid last-week-of-the-transfer here in Pachacutec.  We had interviews with President and we've done a lot of service this week.  It seems like everyone is re-doing their drainage haha and they need the elders help.

So my companion calls me Elder Jarras sometimes to joke around because it means Elder Pitcher, and I guess when you call someone "pitcher" here it means they like to drink alcohol.  It makes me laugh sometimes.

One experience that really touched my heart this week is when I was talking to Santos.  He was my first baptism in this area, but right now he is not attending church because he's been listening to some Adventist pastor, but I'm not worried, he will come back, we just have to work with him a little more. But yesterday we were talking with him and I told him that it was really probable that I'm going to leave this area on Tuesday.  He got this devestated kind of look on his face and said Nooo!  You can't leave!  I told him that there would be other Elders that would come, but he said no they aren't the same.  He told me that he sometimes has dreams about me, and if I leave he really isn't going to return to the church.  At this point I started tearing up a little bit because it reminded me of a conversation I had with Elder Poma; he told me, Elder Harris, you have to learn to love the people of Peru, and when you really have loved them and you have shown that you love them through your actions, something wonderful will happen, they will start to love you.  And when the people of Peru start to love you, that's when you know you have done your part as a that instant with Santos I was with the member who baptized him, Guillermo, and I explained to Santos that although the missionaries will leave, the person who baptized him will always be here. Guillermo.  And that he should trust in Guillermo and that they should be the best of friends.  Missionary work would not work without the efforts of members.

They should be calling in a few hours to tell us if I have transfers or not.  If I do, I feel satisfied with the work we have done here in Cedros.  The branch is growing and it's going to be a ward soon.  I love the members and the people here, I really will never forget this place.  The place I learned Spanish.  The place I learned how to be a missionary.  The place I drastically increased my testimony.  And the place where I was able to help several people repent and be baptized.  I love this work.

Reallmente quiero mas pachamanco,

Elder Harris

My pensionista, Sister Teresa.